State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Dallas, TX

35.50Scored out of 100Updated 5/2017
Local Government Score:
7 out of 10 points
Local Government Summary List All

Dallas’ 2014 Annual Report outlines has greenhouse gas and energy use reduction goals, . Most of Dallas’s energy efficiency-related activities are implemented by the Office of Environmental Quality, which oversees the citywide Environmental Management System (EMS). The EMS’s aim is to prioritize strategies that can improve the environment and help commit city departments to reducing energy usage relative to previous years.

Last updated: February 2017

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

Dallas has a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its local government operations 39% relative to 1990 emissions by September 2017. It reported this goal in the Dallas City Council’s 2014 Annual Report. This adopted target is a stepping stone to the city’s larger aim to be carbon neutral by 2050.


To meet this goal, Dallas would need to reduce emissions from city government operations by 1.8% per year.


Dallas is currently on track to meet its local government greenhouse gas goal.


Dallas releases annual sustainability progress reports that include information on local government operations-related efforts to increase energy efficiency. 

Last updated: April 2017

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

Dallas is developing a fuel conservation program which is evaluating the age and fuel efficiency of fleet vehicles to develop a multi-year plan to achieve fuel reduction targets through 2017. 

Note: For local fleet initiatives, policies listed must make a specific, mandatory requirement for increasing fleet efficiency. Local alternative-fuel vehicle procurement requirements that give a voluntary option to count efficient vehicles are thus not included.

Public Lighting

Dallas has not adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. Dallas replaced 75 school zone flashers with solar powered LEDs and the Green Building Ordinance has some energy efficiency measures and requirements for lighting cut-offs.

New Buildings and Equipment

Dalla's green building program requires all new municipal and city-funded buildings larger than 10,000 square feet be constructed to meet LEED Gold certification standards. The update also included additional requirements for water use reduction (20%) and optimizing energy performance (3 points, 1 point above mandatory certification minimum) for these facilities.The city also uses life-cycle cost analysis for all product procurement. 

Last updated: January 2017

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

According to municipal staff, Dallas benchmarks electricity usage for approximately 60% of its municipal building stock. The City implements the Green Dallas Initiative with support from the Energy Department’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. This program uses EECBG funds, to improve the energy efficiency of city-owned buildings, so far 248 buildings, totaling 3.3 million square feet have been retrofitted.

Public Employees

We could not confirm if Dallas has a telecommuting policy or flexible schedule policy.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 3 out of 12 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The city’s community initiatives related to energy efficiency occurs primarily through the Green Dallas program.

Last updated: April 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

The city’s most recent update to its Sustainability Plan lays out a process for establishing greenhouse gas emissions goals for individual community sectors but not for the entire community. We were unable to locate information that the plan has been formally adopted through either a city council resolution or mayoral executive order. The city does support a downtown 2030 District.

The city does report greenhouse gas emissions in periodic progress reports and through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

Last updated: April 2017

Efficient Distributed Energy Systems - District Energy and Combined Heat and PowerList All

Dallas does not have programs or policies to plan for future district energy systems.

Last updated: April 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

While the city’s comprehensive plan forwardDallas! does include a broad goal to preserve and increase tree canopy, but the city has not adopted a specific quantitative urban heat island mitigation goal.

Dallas recently adopted the Green Building Program Ordinance which encourages the construction of sustainable buildings through two implementation phases. The first phase is focused on encouraging energy efficiency, water conservation and reduction of the heat island effect through cool roofs. The second phase will expand to implement a comprehensive green building standard for all new construction. Newly proposed commercial projects with less than 50,000 square feet of floor area will be required to meet energy efficiency, water conservation, cool roof, and outdoor lighting requirements.

The city has adopted a private tree protection ordinance, but it does not apply to single family residential land. The city has not adopted policies that require or incentivize conservation of private land.

Last updated: April 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 11 out of 28 points
Buildings Summary List All

Dallas has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including above-code requirements and a green building ordinance. The Building Inspection Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Dallas.

Last Updated: January 2017

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of Texas allows its local jurisdictions to adopt and amend the Texas Building Energy Code.  All residential and commercial building construction must comply with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). State-funded building construction must comply with ASHRAE 90.1-2013. To learn more about the building energy code requirements for the State of Texas, please visit the State Policy Database.


The Dallas Energy Conservation Code incorporated the 2015 IECC or ASHRAE 90.1-2013 for commercial buildings effective September 2016. In March 2017, Dallas amended the code to include an alternative compliance path for buildings meeting ENERGY STAR program certification.  


The Dallas Energy Conservation Code incorporated the 2015 IECC for residential construction effective September 2016. In March 2017, Dallas amended the code to include an alternative compliance path for buildings meeting ENERGY STAR program certification.  

Last Updated: March 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Dallas does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. Dallas has made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance. Dallas does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Green Building Requirements

City of Dallas Green Ordinance requires commercial buildings less than 50,000 square feet must meet minimum energy consumption requirements through the Dallas Green Construction Code which includes an Energy Star cool roof. New buildings more than 50,000 square feet must demonstrate a number of LEED credits. All new projects must meet LEED standards. New residential buildings must submit a checklist demonstrating achievement of minimum energy consumption requirements through the Dallas Energy Conservation code (HERS index of 85 or less). Projects can be verified for compliance through Dallas' Third Party Green Building Program.

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Dallas does not yet require commercial or residential buildings to take energy efficiency actions such as energy audits or retro-commissioning.  

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings

Dalla's PACE financing program allows owners of commercial, industrial, and multi-family residential properties (with five or more dwelling units) to obtain low-cost, long-term loans for water conservation, energy-efficiency improvements, and renewable retrofits.

Last Updated: January 2017

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Dallas does not have mandatory or voluntary programs to encourage commercial or residential building benchmarking. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 5 out of 20 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Oncor, an investor-owned utility (IOU) is the primary electric utility serving the City of Dallas. The primary natural gas IOU serving Dallas is Atmos. The City of Dallas is an active promoter of Oncor’s electric efficiency programs. The State of Texas requires electric utilities to offset load-growth through end-use energy efficiency, mandated through an EERS. The utilities must also submit their energy savings goals to the Public Utility Commission of Texas. To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Texas page of the State Database. On the state level, Dallas strongly advocates for additional spending requirements for electric efficiency projects for Oncor.

Dallas Water Utilities provides Dallas with drinking water services, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management.  

Last Updated: January 2017

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2015, according to Oncor, they achieved 166,594 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 0.14% of retail sales. To achieve these savings, Oncor spent $48,422,842 on electric efficiency programs in 2015, which amounts to 1.25% of annual revenue. In 2015, Atmos Energy did not run any natural gas efficiency programs in the City of Dallas. Spending on electricity efficiency represented in this section covers the entire Texas service territory, not just Dallas. Oncor offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

At this time, the City of Dallas does not have a formal partnership with Oncor or Atmos Energy in the form of a jointly-developed or administered energy saving strategy, plan, or agreement.

Last Updated: January 2017

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Oncor offers the Hard-to-Reach Standard Offer Program and a Targeted Low-Income Weatherization Program to qualified low-income residential customers. The Hard-to-Reach program is designed to achieve energy and demand savings with the installation of a wide range of energy efficiency measures at low or no cost. Service providers implement the energy-saving measures and their costs are offset by incentives paid by Oncor. Measures include duct sealing, water efficiency measures, insulation, weatherstripping, and caulking. Oncor is also implementing a Targeted Weatherization Program through the Texas Association of Community Action Agencies (TACAA), which provides funds to designated federal Weather Assistance Program (WAP) subrecipient agencies. This enables them to provide weatherization services to low-income residential electric distribution customers. Energy-efficient measures installed include aerators, attic insulation, air infiltration, central air conditioning units, central heat pumps, duct improvement, floor insulation, and ENERGY STAR® refrigerators and windows.

Customers are automatically enrolled in Oncor’s low-income programs if they are enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP), Home Weatherization Assistance Plan (HWAP), or Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). In 2015, according to Oncor’s demand-side management report, it achieved 23,044 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while spending $12,981,305 on its low-income efficiency portfolio. These programs served 4,669 low-income customers, with each household receiving an average of $2,780 and saving an average of 4,935 kWh.

At this time, Atmos Energy does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at low-income customers in the City of Dallas.

Multifamily Programs

At this time, Oncor and Atmos Energy do not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last updated: June 2017

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Neither Oncor nor Atmos Energy have yet committed to the Green Button or any other online service to provide customers with their energy consumption data. Neither utility provides energy usage data to building managers for input into benchmarking services. Oncor does aggregate community energy usage data and makes it available upon request on a case by case basis. At this point, the City of Dallas does not advocate for policies requiring utilities to expand the availability and granularity of energy usage data.

Last Updated: January 2017

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

Dallas’s water and energy utilities do not jointly administer water and energy efficiency programs. The city has watering restrictions and offers its own water efficiency programs including the New Throne for your Home program, irrigation system checks, rebate programs, multi-sector water audits, and support for minor plumbing repairs. Dallas’s Water Conservation Strategic Plan 2016-2020 calls for an average of 1% per year reduction in per capita consumption for the five-year planning period.

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

The Dallas City Council’s strategic plan calls for energy recapture opportunities in the water and wastewater systems. The Southside wastewater treatment plant has a bio-digester that generates electricity used on-site. There are currently no programs in place to expand energy efficiency through the Dallas water services system.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

There are no policies, programs, funding, or incentive structures in place to encourage green infrastructure and stormwater management in Dallas.

Last Updated: January 2017

Score: 9.5 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the city of Dallas is Dallas Area Rapid Transit. DART also provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including train, bus, light rail, and trolley service. The North Central Texas Council of Governments is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses the Dallas-Fort Worth area as well as many surrounding counties. The Public Works Department of Dallas is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Location Efficiency List All

Dallas’s Chapter 51A Article XIII uses mixed-use districts on the neighborhood scale to implement transit-oriented communities and mixed use development in area plans. The city requires 2 or more parking spots per single family lodging but allows one or more parking spaces per residential unit in certain areas. There are no incentives available through the city to promote location efficiency.

Last updated: January 2017

Mode Shift List All

Modal Share Targets

Dallas has not yet developed targets to promote a modal shift in transportation.

Car and Bicycle Sharing

The City of Dallas is served by Oak Cliff Car Shareh zipcar and Enterprise CarShare. There is a bike sharing program called Fair Park Bike Share but with very limited service.  

Complete Streets

Dallas adopted its complete streets policy in 2011, and has since updated it with it’s Complete Streets Design Manual. The Complete Streets Initiative encourages the inclusion of complete streets principles in all road construction and maintenance projects

Last updated: January 2017

Transit List All

The DART transit system that serves Dallas received $936,085,230 in average annual funding from 2011-2015. This funding level is $131.79 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting it in the fourth highest category (100-149) available in the City Scorecard.

The Transit Connectivity Index measures transit service levels. It is based on the number of bus routes and train stations within walking distance for households scaled by frequency of service. The City of Dallas’ Transit Connectivity Index value is 14, putting it in the fourth highest category (5-14) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient VehiclesList All

At this time, Dallas does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles. There are no incentives available for the construction of EV charging infrastructure.

The city owns 81 charging stations available for public use. 

Last updated: January 2017

Freight List All

Sustainable freight plan

We could not confirm if Dallas has a sustainable freight transportation plan in place or if the city has any policies that address freight efficiency.

Smart freight

We could not confirm if Dallas employs an internet-based application or service to coordinate freight transport.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

We could not confirm that Dallas has a plan in place to enourage sustainable transportation. 

Last updated: January 2017

Low-Income in Transit-Oriented Development Areas List All

Dallas has a requirement in place for the development of mixed-income housing in all TIF financed projects which ensures that affordable housing will be an integral component of each development.

Last updated: January 2017